Leicester pull off the Greatest Escape

Sunderland 0:0 Leicester City

Sunderland vLeicester City, Barclays Premier, 16 May, 2015

A 0-0 draw at the Sunderland Stadium of Light on Saturday meant that City will be playing in the Premier League next season, thanks to their incredible late season revival…

Nigel Pearson made one change to his side with King replacing the injured James.
It was Sunderland who got off to a strong start in front of a large and tense crowd, and Larsson’s clever free-kick towards the near-post almost caught out Schmeichel with everyone expecting a cross.
City’s first chance came when Cambiasso.delivered a cross which Albrighton nodded towards Ulloa but it was just too high for the Argentinian to reach,
In the 23rd minute Sunderland went close again when a Cattermole chip over the defence saw Graham clear on goal but Schmeichel was well placed to block his effort on the turn.

 Sunderland vLeicester City, Barclays Premier, 16 May, 2015

The game tightened up further at this stage and very little of note happened up to the break.City weren’t playing with their usual vibrant style of the last few weeks, but they were breaking up Sunderland’s play very well.
Almost inevitably, it was 0-0 at half-time…

Sunderland vLeicester City, Barclays Premier, 16 May, 2015

City had the first chance of the second half when Ulloa nodded an Albrighton cross narrowly wide, but it was the action elsewhere in the country that caused the biggest excitement in the crowd as news of a Spurs goal against Hull filtered through the stadium.
Albrighton delivered another good ball into the middle but Cambiasso couldn’t find the finishing touch.

Sunderland vLeicester City, Barclays Premier, 16 May, 2015

Meanwhile, in London, QPR overturned a Newcastle lead, while Tottenham went further ahead against Hull and all City had to do was maintain the goalless scoreline…
Sunderland pursued a priceless winner, and van Aanholt and Johnson both went close, but the City defence. marshalled by the magnificent Huth, never looked stretched.
City almost snatched a winner when Pantilimon underestimated Vardy’s pace and had to put in a crashing challenge on him on the edge of the box. The loose ball fell nicely for Kramarić but he hurried what should have been a simple chip into an empty net and his effort went high and wide.

The final whistle brought a subdued reaction from the home support, in contrast to the celebrating Leicester players and fans. City had pulled off an incredible Houdini style escape act – so unbelievable that it is still sinking in.

We are Premier League!

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones (Reveillere 85), van Aanholt, O’Shea, Coates, Bridcutt (Johnson 60), Cattermole, Larsson, Wickham, Graham (Fletcher 80), Defoe. Subs Not Used: Giaccherini, Vergini, Buckley, Mannone.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth, Morgan, Albrighton, Cambiasso, Mahrez (Drinkwater 66), King, Schlupp, Ulloa (Kramarić 74), Vardy. Subs Not Used: De Laet, Konchesky, Hammond, Schwarzer, Wood.
Referee: M Atkinson. Attendance: 46,705. 
ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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Saints martyred by Mahrez as Leicester march on

Leicester City 2:0 Southampton

Leicester City v Southampton, Barclays Premier, 09 May 2015

City’s fantastic run of results continued with a 2-0 win at home to Southampton at the KPS on Saturday…

Nigel Pearson named an unchanged side for the visit of a Saints side chasing a place in Europe, and it was the visitors who threatened first. Mané latched onto a through ball and was looking to go one-on-one with Schmeichel before a timely challenge from Albrighton.
Albrighton then delivered a good corner which Huth headed narrowly over, before City took a 7th minute lead.
Mahrez drifted past two Southampton players in midfield, side-stepped the challenge of Davis, and then placed a precise low shot past Gazzaniga into the bottom right hand corner.

It was another great start for City, though there was to be a set-back a few minutes later. James had to be stretchered from the field after an awkward fall left him with a damaged knee, and he was replaced by Drinkwater.
City continued to press forward, however, and went further ahead in the 20th minute when great work from Vardy down the left saw him square the ball to Mahrez whose delicate finish saw him beat Gazzniga for a second time.

Leicester City v Southampton, Barclays Premier, 09 May 2015

The Saints tried to find a way back but Schmeichel punched a fierce Reed effort away and Mané couldn’t find the target with a header from a corner.
Vardy then had a chance to put the game beyond Southampton but Gazzaniga did well to come out and block in a one-on-one.
Alderweireld had the final say in the first half but his well-struck 30 yard free-kick was tipped over by Schmeichel to preserve City’s two goal lead going down the tunnel.

Mahrez had an opportunity to complete his hat-trick early in the second half when a Wanyama header fell for him but his hurried effort was dragged wide.
Another chance for his third also came and went as Vardy hared down the right, but couldn’t pick out an unmarked Mahrez waiting in the middle.

Leicester City v Southampton, Barclays Premier, 09 May 2015

Schmeichel had to be alert to tip over a Mané shot that dipped late, but City looked fairly comfortable at this stage, with Huth having another superb game at the back.
The tired legs of Vardy and then Ulloa were then replaced by Nugent and Hammond.
City best chance to add to the scoreline came when Albrighton found Cambiasso in the area but the Argentinian’s shot found the side-netting.
It wasn’t needed as the final whistle blew on yet another City victory in this incredible run.
On a weekend that saw Burnley and QPR take up two of the relegation places, and a Hull defeat, City are now within touching distance of safety…

Leicester: Schmeichel, Morgan, James (Drinkwater 13), Vardy (Nugent 70), Albrighton, Huth, Schlupp, Cambiasso, Ulloa (Hammond 78), Mahrez, Wasilewski. Subs Not Used: De Laet, Konchesky, Schwarzer, Kramarić.
Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Davis (Đuričić 66), Mané, Wanyama, Alderweireld, Pellè, Bertrand, Elia (Long 66), Reed. Subs Not Used: Davis, Yoshida, Gardoş, Targett, Gallagher.
Referee: R East. Attendance: 31,939.

All Photos: Simon Kimber


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FOX 194 – The Leicester City fanzine – 48 page May edition – ON SALE TODAY

FOX 194 – the May edition of the Leicester City fanzine is now in the shops and on sale at today’s game…

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The bumper sized FOX 194 features: an interview with former-City midfielder Jon Sammels; Something Old, Something New; Fully Programmed from 1985-86- the Great Escape that no one remembers; Fox Diary takes a sudden upturn; the latest from the Foxes Trust; What’s happening on #lcfc Twitterland (Iwan’s beard!); Rewind goes back a month; Foxed in the Head – Medieval Panini and Concourse sing-songs; the final Chris Lymn Column; John Hutchinson applies his magnifying glass to another slice of the club’s history; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots our favourite photos of the last month; and the Bi-Polar Expedition of Frank….

all for £2…

Jon Sammels Interview Extract

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FOX: You moved to Leicester in the Summer of 1971, though you were expected to go to Ipswich?
JS: I’d gone to see Bobby Robson at Ipswich and had a look round the ground and spoken to John Cobbold, the chairman. It was my home town team and I had a lot of family round there. Bobby said he really wanted me to sign, but I wanted to go away and think about it.
I was in Bournemouth on a pre-season thing with Arsenal when I got a call from Jimmy Bloomfield.
Jimmy said: “Don’t sign for anyone until you have spoken to me.”
So I went up to Leicester. I knew Jimmy, I liked the style of football he wanted to play and I liked the challenge of keeping a newly promoted team up in the First Division.
I phoned Bobby the next day and told him I wouldn’t be signing, as I was going to Leicester.
Jim’s philosophy for the midfield was one to get it, the ball-winner; one to play it, which was my role, and one to go through, which was Keith Weller.
I was more of a provider than I had been at Arsenal, I didn’t score as many goals for Leicester as I would have liked.
FOX: Do you have a favourite one?
JS: For Leicester, probably a half-volley against Burnley that I made really sweet contact with. It was a way out but I knew it was in as soon as I hit it. It was my 50th league goal I think?
For Arsenal, I got the winning goal against Anderlecht in the Fairs Cup Final so that was probably the most important one I scored.
FOX: We have memories of an open day down at Filbert Street where the players were having their shots timed by this device and you won…
JS: I think you had to hit this board to register a time and everyone who was trying to leather it missed the board so I went for more control. It wasn’t particularly fast, but it hit the target so I won!

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Leicester win again to increase Newcastle’s woes

Leicester City 3:0 Newcastle United

2014-15 newcastle home cc

City got off to a perfect start and never looked back in a comfortable 3-0 win against Newcastle at the KPS on Saturday…

Nigel Pearson made three changes to his side with Schlupp, Mahrez and James in the starting line-up and Huth thankfully recovered from injury. The side were greeted onto the field by a fantastic mosaic display organised by the Union FS fans’ group…
Within a minute the home crowd were celebrating a goal. Although Newcastle kicked off City soon had a corner and Albrighton’s dangerous flag-kick was nodded past Krul by Ulloa with 38 seconds on the clock.

2014-15 newcastle home dd

Although Pérez had a chance for Newcastle soon after he dragged his shot well wide when well placed and City were soon threatening again. A cross from the left by Mahrez was met with a glancing header by Ulloa, but it went straight into Krul’s grasp.
But City only had to wait until the 17th minute to double their lead. Schlupp was taken out by Janmaat as he raced down the left and the United player was booked. Albrighton drifted a free-kick into the goal mouth when Morgan had got goalside of Coloccini and poked the ball past Krul.
Newcastle had their best spell of the game after going two down, but Rivière missed the target with one effort and then fell over while trying to put the finishing touch to a good move. When a Taylor shot was saved by Schmeichel City had preserved their two goal lead going in at the break.

2014-15 newcastle home aa

City came racing off the blocks again in the second half and were soon awarded a penalty when Wasilewski was barged in the back by Rivière. Ulloa got his second of the game blasting his effort high into the net from 12 yards.
But they couldn’t add to the scoreline despite Newcastle being reduced to 10 and then 9 men.
Albrighton sent a shot narrowly wide and then Ulloa was denied a hat-trick when Krul clawed the Argentinian’s header over the bar.
United then lost Williamson to his second yellow when he sent Vardy crashing into a, thankfully well padded, tv camera base as the ball was going out of play.
The game was broken up by a series of substitutions with De Laet on for Wasilewski and then Hammond replacing Cambiasso and Kramarić coming on for Ulloa.

2014-15 newcastle home bb

Janmaat couldn’t cope with Vardy’s string running and was dismissed for a foul which put a lid on Newcastle’s miserable afternoon.
Five wins in six games have given City a fighting chance retain their Premier League status, while eight defeats on the trot have dragged Newcastle into trouble. After the game a furious John Carver suggested that Williamson had got himself dismissed on purpose as an “easy way out.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Morgan, James, Vardy, Albrighton, Huth, Schlupp, Cambiasso (Hammond 74), Ulloa (Kramarić 78), Mahrez, Wasilewski (De Laet 68). Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Drinkwater, Schwarzer, Wood.
Newcastle: Krul, Coloccini, Taylor (De Jong 58), Williamson, Sissoko, Colback, Pérez (Armstrong 74), Gutiérrez, Janmaat, Rivière (Anita 64), Dummett. Subs Not Used: Cabella, Ameobi, Abeid, Woodman.
Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 31,576.

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Chelsea see off Leicester resistance with a champion display

Leicester City 1:3 Chelsea

2014-15 chelsea home b

Despite a half-time lead, City’s winning run was halted by champions-in-waiting Chelsea at the KPS on Wednesday night…

Despite the rumours that he might field a weakened team against the best side in the country Nigel Pearson retained the starting XI that won at Burnley, and they competed very well with Chelsea despite a couple of first half set-backs.
In the 18th minute King’s 300th appearance for City ended prematurely when he limped off to be replaced by James; and then, just six minutes later, Huth had to go off after unsuccessfully trying to run off an earlier knock , with De Laet coming on and Wasilewski moving into the middle.
In a tight game Chelsea had the first real chance in the 29th minute when Willian set up Drogba who fired his shot off-target.
James then cleared a Fàbregas cross as Chelsea began to get their attacking game together, but it was City who ended the half on top.
An Albrighton cross found Konchesky, but his effort was well saved by Čech. The ball remained in the danger area and a goalmouth scramble ensued with Cambiasso setting up Albrighton, for a shot that was blocked by Cahill before the visitors’ defence finally managed to scramble it clear.
But City lifted the roof off the KPS taking the lead on the stroke of half-time. James sent Vardy in down the left and his low cross saw a slip from Azpilicueta, allowing Albrighton to pick his spot past Cech.

2014-15 chelsea home c

The stadium was buzzing during the half time interval, but sadly reality kicked in soon after the restart. In the 48th minute Ivanović’s square ball to Drogba was fired home from 12 yards to put Chelsea back on level terms.
Drogba should have made it 2-1 soon after when City’s defence were unzipped again, but this time he sent his shot sailing over the bar.

Leicester City v Chelsea, Barclays Premier, 29 April 2015

Although City never matched the heights of their first half performance, when they were the equal of Chelsea they held out until the 79th minute. Then a Fàbregas corner was nodded on by Cahill, and although Schmeichel got a touch to it the ball landed for Terry who couldn’t miss from close in.
Four minutes later, Chelsea struck again when Fàbregas set up Ramires, for a fine finish from the edge of the area.

2014-15 chelsea home d

This was a great shame after City’s first half performance but much encouragement could be taken for May’s four ‘cup finals’ that will decide City’s destiny, although the injuries remained a worry.

Sadly another Nigel Pearson post-match press conference descended into farce and that was to become the only talking  point of the evening…

Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth (De Laet 24), Morgan, Albrighton, King (James 18), Cambiasso, Drinkwater, Konchesky, Vardy (Mahrez 76), Ulloa. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Hammond, Wood, Kramarić.
Chelsea: Čech, Ivanović, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires (Zouma 84), Matić, Willian, Fàbregas (Mikel 90), Hazard (Cuadrado 88), Drogba. Subs Not Used: Courtois, Filipe Luís, Ake, Oscar.

Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 32,021.

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Leicester extract three points from Turf Moor

Burnley 0:1 Leicester City

2014-15 burnley away

Four wins from four games took City out of the relegation zone after they edged a tense encounter at Burnley, which turned on two events a minute apart…

Nigel Pearson made two changes to his side for this vital Premier League basement meeting, with Drinkwater and Konchesky in the starting XI.
Understandably, given the circumstances, it was a very tight and tense game and the first half saw hardly any chances created. The only noteworthy effort came just after the half hour when Trippier’s corner saw Duff tee up Taylor for a shot over his own shoulder, but Schmeichel was well-placed to block it.
The teams went down the tunnel goal-less which suited City more than it did the home side.
City had the first opportunity in the second half when Huth was brought down  on the edge of the area, but Heaton wasn’t called into action by Cambiasso’s free-kick which cleared the bar by a couple of yards.
The Clarets responded with a chance of their own, a Duff header being headed clear by Ulloa.
All the true drama of the game then arrived in one minute just before the hour mark.
After Schmeichel pulled off a fine reaction save from Ings Konchesky pursued the loose ball but caught Taylor as the Burnley player overtook him. Taylor himself took the spot kick but slipped and hit the outside of the right hand post for a huge let off for City.
The Leicester fans were still celebrating this miss when play moved to the other end. Albrighton sent in a cross from the  right which Duff got a touch to, but Heaton only just managed to keep out before Vardy raced in to net from point blank range.
Pearson brought on Kramarić for Ulloa and De Laet for Albrighton, as City dug in to defend a priceless lead.
The closest the Clarets got to a reply saw Schmeichel make another fine save to keep out a deflected Mee shot.
A solid defensive display ensured that City earned all three points and the miracle was still on.
Four wins from four games, for the first time in the top flight since 1966, took City out of the relegation zone…

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shakell, Mee, Boyd (Wallace 70), Jones, Arfield, Taylor (Kightly 86), Ings, Jutkiewicz (Sordell 70). Subs Not Used: Gilks, Keane, Ward, Ulvestad.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth, Morgan, Albrighton (De Laet 70), King, Cambiasso, Drinkwater (James 77), Konchesky, Vardy, Ulloa (Kramric 65). Subs Not Used: Upson, Mahrez, Schwarzer, Wood.

Referee: Mr. A. Taylor. Attendance: 19,582.

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Leicester on the up after Swansea are beaten at the King Power

Leicester City 2:0 Swansea City

2014-15 swansea home c

City’s revival extended to three consecutive wins after a spirited 2-0 victory over Swansea at the KPS on Saturday…

Nigel Pearson made three changes, with Wasilewski, King and Kramarić coming in. But plans were disrupted during the warm-up when Nugent strained a calf and Ulloa was promoted from the bench.
City were set up to attack and did that from the first whistle – taking the lead after a quarter of an hour.
A long ball forward from Wasilewski was diverted by Morgan into the path of Ulloa who gleefully slotted it home from 8 yards.

2014-15 swansea home a

2014-15 swansea home b

Soon after that opening goal had raised the crowd to a new pitch of excitement, Albrighton made good progress through the Swans defence but couldn’t apply the finishing touch, sending his shot wide of the left hand post.
The visitors had their first on target effort when a Sigurdsson shot was comfortably fielded by Schmeichel.
They then gained more possession up to the break, but didn’t come close to an equaliser.

Pearson brought De Laet on for Wasilewski for the second half as City went for the jugular again.
Albrighton and Kramarić both went close before Ulloa sent a header just over the bar, but Swansea also threatened.
Schmeichel produced a fine block with his left leg to deny Oliveira in a one-on-one and then got down well to a Shelvey effort to preserve City’s lead.
Pearson then brought on Mahrez for Ulloa and Drinkwater for Kramarić.
From a Swansea corner City broke upfield at pace and Vardy fed Mahrez perhaps slightly too late allowing Fabiański to come out and block his effort.
City broke again when Drinkwater sent Vardy clear on goal, and he was bundled over by Williams for a clear cut penalty, but yet again this season the ref didn’t agree.
Vardy sent a shot over and then Mahrez forced a good save from Fabiański with a low shot as the tension mounted in the final ten minutes. That was finally relieved with a minute left on the clock when City doubled their lead.
2014-15 swansea home d
Cambiasso, who had been superb all afternoon, fired a 20 yard free-kick through the wall which seemed to deceive Fabiański at the last moment. It bounced back off his knee to King who bundled it over the line from close in to get the KPS bouncing.
For the first time since November City were off the bottom of the Premier League and after some jubilant scenes at the end of the game Nigel Pearson urged some caution: “The danger is that people start believing that the job is done. It is far from it; there’s still a long way to go. We have still got six games left and we have to get as many points as possible from them, which is going to be a big challenge.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Huth, Wasilewski (De Laet 46), Morgan, Schlupp, King, Cambiasso, Albrighton, Ulloa (Mahrez 68), Vardy, Kramarić (Drinkwater 74). Subs Not Used: Konchesky, James, Lawrence, Schwarzer.
Swansea: Fabiański, Amat, Ki (Montero 58), Williams, Shelvey, Routledge (Dyer 70), Oliveira (Emnes 75), Rangel, Sigurdsson, Cork, Fernández. Subs Not Used: Britton, Grimes, Tremmel, Bartley.
Referee: L Probert. Attendance: 31,121.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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